Drawing upon his experiences as the captain of a steamer on the Congo River, Joseph Conrad wrote "An Outpost of Progress," a sharp critique of British colonialism that the master storyteller considered his best tale. A precursor to Heart of Darkness, it traces the physical and moral degradation of two English overseers at a remote African trading post, offering a compelling view of the destructive effects of cultural isolation. This compilation presents four additional short stories: "An Anarchist (A Desperate Tale)," centering on an ex-convict's association with a radical political faction in nineteenth-century England; "The Informer (An Ironic Tale)," a character study in political contradictions focusing on an anarchist's embrace of bourgeois values; "Il Conde (A Pathetic Tale)," in which a violent crime disrupts a nobleman's visit to Naples; and "A Smile of Fortune," which recounts how a seafarer's romantic inclinations lead him into misplacing his loyalty.
by Joseph Conrad
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